. "6 Water Quality Improvement: Institutional and Financial Solutions." Regional Cooperation for Water Quality Improvement in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2005.
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Regional Cooperation for Water Quality Improvement in Southwestern Pennsylvania
Finding the right mix of existing and new organizations that best fulfill the necessary conditions for planning, implementation, and oversight of CWARP will be a difficult and time-consuming process. Several options that the region should consider are discussed in this chapter. The discussion begins with a review of management functions necessary to deliver water supply and water quality services and criteria for evaluating alternative organizational arrangements to perform those functions. The challenge is to find the right mix of organizations that can perform the necessary functions in an efficient and politically accountable manner. The committee’s examination of specific arrangements begins with existing organizations in the region. This is followed by a brief review of what other regions with somewhat similar problems have done. Future options for water resource and quality management in southwestern Pennsylvania are then explored. These options are discussed in light of existing enabling legislation and what additional legislation may be desirable. Also, two other significant factors influencing the choice of organizational arrangements are discussed: (1) potential sources of financing and (2) financial burdens that may be imposed on citizens of the region.
CRITERIA FOR EVALUATING ORGANIZATIONAL OPTIONS
Choosing an appropriate organization or set of organizations to address regional water quality problems holistically is a complex task. Criteria for guiding the formulation and evaluation of alternative arrangements usually include consideration of the following:
efficiencies with which each organizational arrangement could carry out the various policy-making and management functions by exploiting economies of scale;
geographic coverage sufficient to incorporate significant hydrological, biological, and chemical processes between upstream and downstream elements of the water resource system and to incorporate significant linkages in construction and operation of infrastructure that crosses political boundaries;
capacity to integrate water systems, wastewater systems, stormwater systems, and other aspects of water resources with land use and transportation;
legal, technical, and financial capacities of each option to perform management functions;
capacity of each option to involve the many faces of the public and minimize conflict in decision making processes; and
the nature of existing contracts and other commitments.
Before these criteria can meaningfully be applied, it is appropriate to describe the management functions, scale, and authorities of alternative arrangements.
A list of water quality planning and management functions for water systems is provided in Box 6-1. They are listed in approximate order of statutory authority necessary to perform them, beginning with the least intrusive government power and concluding with the most intrusive. Collection of data, planning, and technical assistance require only modest statutory authority. Implementing actions including financing, construction, taking of land, and adoption and